Chinese scientists plan to launch China's first space solar telescope into orbit around 2005, so as to obtain important data on photosphere and atmosphere structure, as is known from the Chinese Academy of Space Technology.
The telescope to be launched, called the Chinese version of "Hubble", is the biggest thermo optical telescope known to the world by now. With 100-cm (39-in) optical lens, it is equipped with a special lens group for observing X-rays, and designed to work on both optical and X-ray frequencies, mainly the former.
The first space solar telescope is jointly developed by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences. The telescope is to be fixed on a space astronomical satellite and launched into orbit. The satellite is to be developed by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology and a project team was set up on July 2000. While technology studies on the telescope started in 1992 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and breakthroughs have been made on core technologies.
Hanging high above the atmosphere layer, the telescope is able to shake off atmosphere disturbances and work around the clock to send data back to the ground, expert said. It keeps an eye on every movement of the sun and provides guarantee for space environment studies and earth environment security.
The telescope, after put into operation, will be one of the most advanced devices of its kind. Its high performance and resolution will put its observation results on world advanced level.
(People's Daily May 9, 2002)